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NYC

Guide

The Best Things We Ate This Week

A running list of the best dishes we’ve had recently.

58 Spots
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58 Spots
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Updated December 4th, 2020

New York City is open for outdoor and partial indoor dining, which means there are thousands of restaurants where you can eat today. But if you can’t decide where to start, or you’d rather order something great for takeout, we totally understand. That’s why we’re highlighting the best dishes we’ve had recently, all of which are available for takeout, delivery, outdoor, and /or indoor dining right now. From a giant veal chop to the best donut we’ve ever had, here’s a look into our personal food journals.

If you’ve had a great dish that you want to share with our team, send us an email at nyc@theinfatuation.com. Now, on to the dishes.


THE DISHES

Matt Tervooren

Yoon Haeundae Galbi

$$$$ 8 W 36th St

Seafood Tteokbokki

“This guide includes the best dishes we’ve eaten in any given week, but I’m ready to widen the timeframe for this seafood tteokbokki from Yoon Haeundae Galbi in Midtown. A month? A season? A year? The massive entree includes rice cakes tender enough to slice with chopsticks, but with enough snap to add texture to hold in the spicy, acidic sauce. That sauce is so thick (and distractingly excellent) that you’ll barely notice the huge portion of seafood until the plate is half-empty. At that point, though, you’ll discover crab, head-on shrimp, baby octopus, and two types of clams, all of which have been bathing in the gochujang-based sauce the entire time.”

-Matt Tervooren, Staff Writer

Hannah Albertine

Foxface

$$$$
$$$$ 80 Saint Marks Pl

C.B.D. Special Sandwich

“If you live in the East Village and don’t frequent this sandwich takeout window connected to an old St. Marks theater and an absinthe/mead bar - I want you to change that about yourself, please. My go-to lunch here is typically the Smoking Fox (which tastes like a Cubano without cheese and is always on the menu), but the person behind the counter recently convinced me to take a chance on a special with smoky-sweet carrots, tender brisket, fresh dill, and dill butter. It tasted like a comforting winter dinner elegantly stuffed into crunchy, pressed panini bread. I got a full blast of every ingredient in every multi-textured bite, and I miss it already.”

-Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Matt Tervooren

Santo Brúklin

$$$$ 548 Court St

Pão de Queijo

“There’s not a lot of variation amongst pão de queijo, and that’s generally a good thing, as baked cheese bread doesn’t need much help tasting delicious. In fact, after ordering it at just about every one of the Best Brazilian Restaurants In NYC, I found that the only versions that really stood out did so for negative reasons. Then I went to Santo Brúklin, a Brazilian spot in Carroll Gardens that opened literally one day before the citywide shutdown, and realized that there are (very) positive outliers as well. The outsides of the two baseball-sized rolls crack when you pick them up, and despite dense and cheesy insides, they pull apart like freshly baked croissants. What really separates this version, though, is the side of soft, ground, spicy ’nduja that’d be a must-order snack on its own.

-Matt Tervooren, Staff Writer

Matt Tervooren

Jeju Noodle Bar

$$$$
$$$$ 679 Greenwich Street

Chicken Wings

“I’ve eaten a sizable fraction of the city’s great chicken wings. But none of them prepared me for the ones at Jeju Noodle Bar. The versions at this Korean noodle spot in the West Village are at the very high-end of both the crispiness and juiciness ends of the wing spectrum, and while that, plus the tangy chili-yogurt dipping sauce, would be enough to make these some of the best wings in the city, those aren’t even the main attraction. That honor belongs to the umami powder - a blend of dried mushrooms, seaweed, nori, and kombu - that’s dusted on the wings post-fryer, and sends your mind reeling for answers in a similarly intense, but far more enjoyable way than even the most punitively spicy wings in the city.”

-Matt Tervooren, Staff Writer

Nikko Duren

MeMe’s Diner

$$$$ 657 Washington St

Pumpkin Muffin with Cream Cheese

“I introduced my partner to my mother over brunch at MeMe’s Diner right around this time last year. So when this Prospect Heights spot announced it would be closing at the end of November, I was unsurprisingly affected. (For the record I wouldn’t typically make this kind of introduction in public, but we were all hungry around 1pm on a Sunday and it just kind of happened.) Unwilling to miss my chance to eat at this legendary brunch place one last time, I stopped by for their final weekend service along with 89% of the queer community in Brooklyn. After managing to order their very last pumpkin muffin, a wave of sadness washed over me. This large, crispy pastry was softer than Janet Jackson’s whisper on the inside, and as I wiped the pillowy cream cheese filling off of my lip, I realized that this was the first and last time I would enjoy it.”

-Nikko Duren, Editorial Assistant

Tong

$$$$ 37-08 73rd Street

Fuchka

“This Bangladeshi food truck in Jackson Heights is always parked outside of the Duane Reade on 73rd Street, and it’s where you should be going to eat incredible fuchka. Each order is served with a wreath of puffed puri that’s been filled with boiled yellow peas and potatoes, and topped with raw red onions and shaved egg yolks. It’s imperative that you spoon a little bit of tamarind water on each one before you pop it in your mouth. Between the sweet tamarind, the sharp raw onions, and the hot mash of peas and potatoes, this is one of my favorite food truck snacks I’ve ever eaten in NYC.”

-Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Matt Tervooren

Samwon Garden

$$$$
Korean  in  Midtown
$$$$ 37 W 32nd St

Pork Jowl

“Look, I don’t dislike pork belly or bacon or jowl. I just personally happen to prefer lower fat-to-meat ratios. So despite the fact that my friend has been to the original Samwon Garden in Seoul countless times, I was dubious when he insisted on ordering the pork jowl at this BBQ spot’s location in K-Town. But my hesitation disappeared about as quickly as the outer layer of fat on the grill in the middle of the table. I ate the first strip of perfectly cooked pork in a DIY lettuce wrap with sticky rice, chives, and doenjang (spiced soybean paste), and while absolutely delicious, the meat has more than enough candy-like sweetness to stand on its own.”

-Matt Tervooren, Staff Writer

Hillary Reinsberg

Tanoshi Sushi

$$$$
$$$$ 1372 York Ave.

“Triple X” Piece

“In general, I haven’t done indoor dining, but I made an exception for Tanoshi, because if you’re a party of four, you’ll have an entire restaurant to yourself. The Upper East Side omakase spot has two storefront spaces on York Avenue, each with its own sushi bar, and only four diners are allowed in each one. If you come with a group of four, as I did, you basically get your own private dining situation. Each reservation lasts one hour, and there’s plastic separating you from the chef, who makes each piece fresh in front of you. As it gets colder, I can definitely see myself back here. All the sushi is excellent, but the standout piece has to be the “Triple X” - which comes with salmon roe, uni, and a quail egg.”

-Hillary Reinsberg, Editor In Chief

Hannah Albertine

Kitty’s Market

$$$$ 60 S Front St

Breakfast Sandwich With Bacon & Sauerkraut

“I took a last-minute train to Hudson over the weekend and had three of my five meals at Kitty’s, a daytime cafe that pretty much only sells chicken, pastries, and one of the better breakfast sandwiches I’ve had this year. Between the blanket of mild muenster cheese, smoky bacon, and a bun that’s been blasted with sesame seeds, this thing should have its own Hudson tourism ad on Amtrak. There’s a free option to add housemade, chunky sauerkraut, which only makes the BEC flavors pop even more. More egg dishes should come with sauerkraut.”

-Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Nikko Duren

Aita Trattoria

$$$$
$$$$ 798A Franklin Ave

Lasagna

“I don’t order lasagna unless it’s from Aita Trattoria in Crown Heights. Nothing else compares to this heavenly stack of noodles, cheese, and meat sauce. It’s served by the gloriously massive slice with ten layers of pasta, bechamel, and bolognese that taste like they’ve been given an abundance of time and care. It’s my favorite thing to eat at home on a rainy day, and while I usually get full after finishing just half, I push through and finish the rest because reheating something this perfect would be very disrespectful.”

-Nikko Duren, Editorial Assistant

Matt Tervooren

Churrascaria Plataforma

$$$$
$$$$ 316 W 49th St

Leg of Lamb

“You won’t order from a menu at Churrascaria Plataforma in Hell’s Kitchen. Instead, you’ll turn a coaster green-side-up when you want the barrage of grilled meats at this Brazilian steakhouse to continue, and flip the coaster red-side-up when you want to pause or call it quits. After bacon-wrapped filet, top sirloin, pork sausage, and countless other cuts had appeared and disappeared from my plate, I flipped my coaster over in defeat. Then things got complicated. The server asked me what my favorite cut of the night was, and when I said the leg of lamb, he returned a minute later with the giant spit of meat. Disregarding my red coaster, he simply asked how I like it cooked, and piled a few more slices on my plate. The salty and juicy, but charred meat almost made me flip the coaster back to green for yet another round. Almost.”

-Matt Tervooren, Staff Writer

Katherine Lewin

Sofreh

$$$$ 75 Saint Marks Ave

Pomegranate Beef Ribeye

“I watched Kamala Harris and Joe Biden’s victory speeches from my cell phone, propped up against a water glass at Sofreh. (As a general rule, I try to keep my phone off the table at restaurants, but I figured this was the moment to make an exception.) It was the cherry on top of an incredible dinner outdoors at this Prospect Heights spot. My two favorite dishes of the night were the gormeh sabzi - a dried lime and herb beef stew - and this absolute stunner of a steak, marinated in walnuts and pomegranate. Having grown up in LA where Persian food is easy to find, this meal reminded me how much I miss and need it in my life - especially if it’s from Sofreh.”

-Katherine Lewin, Editorial Director, Restaurants

Hannah Albertine

Cuchifritos Frituras

$$$$ 168 E 116th St

Alcapurria

“On my way home from Cuchifritos on 116th Street in East Harlem, the 6 train started to look like one big alcapurria. I began to imagine I myself was not a passenger, but a piece of ground beef floating inside of a slightly sweet, fried cassava tube. I guess that’s what happens when you eat Puerto Rican fritters this delicious. It makes you fried-meat drunk.”

-Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Hannah Albertine

North Dumpling

$$$$ 27 Essex St

Pork and Chive Fried Dumplings

“North Dumpling is the best I-can’t-focus-on-work snack break destination there is. The other day when I was feeling lousy and cooped up, I walked to their spot on Essex Street with cash in my pocket (they don’t take cards). By the time I had finished an order of their pork and chive fried dumplings, I no longer felt like I wanted to throw my computer in the East River. Each order of dumplings costs less than a bullsh*t coffee with too much oat milk even though you clearly said “a splash” ($3.50). I suggest you sub a future beverage break for a dumpling break the next time you need to step away from the horrors of your screen.”

-Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Hannah Albertine

Landmark Coffee Shop

$$$$ 158 Grand St

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

“My family doesn’t believe in taking Advil unless you’re seriously K.O.’d. Instead, I was trained as a young child to seek comfort through diner breakfasts. This explains why I recently ended up on the sidewalk in front of Landmark Coffee Shop in Soho, enjoying a plate of corned beef hash, eggs, and paprika-heavy potatoes, as well as a glorious stack of pancakes for the table. If you don’t know Landmark, you should. It’s one of the last diners in the area, and their thin, chocolate-studded pancakes are stronger than Advil.”

-Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Crop Circle

Crop Circle

$$$$ 126 Macdougal St

Spicy Beef Guokui

“Being hangry is my least favorite pastime, so I rarely leave the house without an eating plan. However, I recently found myself in Greenwich Village around 7pm on a Saturday night with a growling stomach and no restaurant reservation. After several failed attempts at finding a place accepting walk-ins, I stumbled upon Crop Circle and was pleasantly surprised that my last resort became a standout event. This counter-service Chinese street food spot mainly serves guokui - crispy flatbreads stuffed with different kinds of meat or seafood - and the spicy beef option saved my night. The thin pancake was larger than my head and filled with mouth-numbing minced beef, and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.”

-Nikko Duren, Editorial Assistant

Matt Tervooren

Arepa Lady

$$$$ 77-17 37 Ave

Arepa de Queso with Chorizo

“When I walked into Arepa Lady in Jackson Heights recently, I was at the tail-end of a very long day of eating Brazilian food for an upcoming guide. A massive chorizo-topped corn cake overflowing with melted mozzarella wasn’t exactly what my body needed, but these arepas have been recommended to me since before they moved from food truck to brick-and-mortar in 2014, and I couldn’t ignore them any longer. I’m glad I didn’t. The arepa itself packs a ton of flavor considering it’s a thin, crispy sheet between masses of cheese and grilled meat. A bite with all the components - including queso blanco, hot and mayo-based sauces - has enough parts sweet, salty, charred, and intensely rich to bypass appetizer, entree, or dessert categorization. Since I certainly didn’t need any one of those, it worked out nicely.”

-Matt Tervooren, Staff Writer

Katherine Lewin

King

$$$$
FrenchItalian  in  SoHo
$$$$ 18 King St.

Ricotta And Chanterelle Ravioli

“Sometimes, when a server drops a dish off at your table, it feels like time stops. The world around you fades away. Whatever conversation you were having is irrelevant. The food is somehow glowing, and you’re pretty sure you’re not imagining it. I mean, just look at these ravioli. Hand-cut and stuffed with chanterelle and ricotta, they’re lightly covered in a simple thyme butter sauce that only further proves how spectacular this pasta is on its own. I would tell you to come to King just for this dish - but every other thing I ate on a recent dinner there was (almost) just as good.”

-Katherine Lewin, Editorial Director, Restaurants

Jongro BBQ

$$$$
Korean  in  KoreatownMidtown
$$$$ 22 W 32nd St Fl 2

Spicy Rice Cake

“Like almost every spot in K-Town right now, Jongro has tent-covered outdoor seating, which means even on rainy nights, you’ll find lots of socially-distanced group hangs. The Korean BBQ here is some of the best in the city, but it was the tender, chewy rice cakes that stole the show when I visited. More accurately, it was the deep pool of sweet and spicy gochujang-based sauce, which combatted the disgusting weather that caused us to use a kimchi pancake as a sponge about halfway through. After dinner, I ended up having the best thing I’ve drank recently as well, when I ladled soju out of a watermelon at Pocha 32 across the street.”

-Matt Tervooren, Staff Writer

Mel

$$$$ 1 Ludlow Street

Sunflower Sorghum Bread

“As much as I try, I can’t sleep in on weekends. This quality frustrated me until I realized that I’m an ideal patron of this new, weekend-only bakery on the LES. Mel specializes in (incredible) sourdough breads, and usually runs out of loaves within a few hours of its 8am opening. While you could easily annoy the sh*t out of someone by talking about Mel’s artisanally milled flours and heirloom rye grain, all you need to know is this: any bread you try at Mel will be springy to the touch, crusty on the outside, and about a thousand times better than carbs you make at home. Chronically-early risers, go try some.”

-Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Nikko Duren

Sariling Atin

$$$$
$$$$ 89-12 Queens Blvd

Adobo Kambing (Goat Adobo)

“Back when we were all in an office together, Hannah used to bring everyone Filipino snacks from some spot in Queens. Recently, I visited that spot - a Filipino grocery store in Elmhurst - for the very first time, and quickly realized that they do so much more than sell delightful fish crackers. Sariling Atin has a cafeteria-style counter in the back, and the goat adobo they serve has some of the most tender meat I’ve ever had. It’s cooked in this creamy adobo sauce that’s sweet, then vinegary. This goat adobo is the perfect rainy day meat dish and if I could go back in time, I’d have asked Hannah to bring me back several orders to be stored in my freezer.”

-Nikko Duren, Editorial Assistant

Joomak

$$$$ 5 W 35th St

Chocolate Mandoo

You know what’s honestly, always good? When a restaurant turns a non-dessert item into a dessert item. Nutella pizza, for example. At Joomak, a pop-up run by a pastry chef from The Modern, they’re serving chocolate filled Korean dumplings in an Earl Grey-flavored broth that caused my friend and I to both go, “Whoa.” Joomak is operating out of a karaoke bar’s sidewalk space on 35th and 5th for a few more days, and you can DM the chef for a reservation.

-Hillary Reinsberg, Editor In Chief

Hannah Albertine

Gena's Grill

$$$$ 210 1st Ave

Pollo Guisado

“The question is not whether you want this Puerto Rican stewed chicken from Gena’s by the 1st Avenue L train in the East Village (because you obviously do - each piece of tender chicken tastes like garlic, potatoes, and sofrito inviting you to a party). Instead, the real question is which sides will you request to eat with your pollo guisado? I went with yellow rice, red beans, and a side of extra caramelized, crunchy-sweet maduros. It was a highlight of my week.”

-Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Hannah Albertine

Szechuan House

$$$$
Chinese  in  Flushing
$$$$ 133-47 Roosevelt Ave

Wontons In Chili Oil

“I’ve recently taken boats, trains, and bicycles to eat Szechuan food - all in preparation for a guide to the best mapo tofu in the city. But little does my editor know that I’ve also been conducting personal research on the city’s best wontons in chili oil. So far, the version I had at Szechuan House in Flushing has been my favorite. Each wonton has extra-long sheets hanging off of their plump, pork-filled centers, sort of like silky veils. There’s enough wonton chew to counterbalance the meat and bright red, spicy sesame oil.”

-Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Katherine Lewin

Emilio's Ballato

$$$$
Italian  in  SoHo
$$$$ 55 E Houston

Veal Parmesan

“Look at that dreamboat,” is the response I got from our Editorial Operations Manager when I texted her a photo of this veal parmesan at Emilio’s Ballato. She’s certainly not wrong - but this thing isn’t all looks. The veal is perfectly tender, the breading-to-sauce ratio is ideal, and there’s plenty of mozzarella to go around. My group of three split this dish, and still had some to take home for luxury leftovers. Oh, and while I’d like to keep it a secret, it’s my job to tell you: this iconic Soho spot now has a secret back patio. Come here when you want to be reminded of one of the many reasons you live in NYC.”

-Katherine Lewin, Editorial Director

Rangoon

Rangoon

$$$$
$$$$ 500 Prospect Pl

Mohinga

“Regardless of my crippling indecision, I actually like making important life decisions. And at Rangoon, I made the right one for once: ordering the lemongrass fish noodle soup. It has lots of chewy rice noodles, two halves of one runny egg, and a giant onion fritter that tastes like it’s been soaking in a jacuzzi full of spicy broth for days. When it came, I sealed the deal by pouring the generous side of fish sauce into my noodle soup. If you’re looking for a warm noodle bowl that has just the right balance of salty, sweet, bitter, and acid, I suggest you do the same.”

-Nikko Duren, Editorial Assistant

Noah Devereaux

Daily Provisions

$$$$ 103 East 19th Street

Maple Cruller

“On a recent aimless morning walk, I found myself in Flatiron when it suddenly started to rain. Far from my apartment, I had two options. First, I could hop the fence into Gramercy Park, and hope a benefactor took pity on me, or second, I could pick up food from Daily Provisions, and ride it out with a BEC. That BEC was fantastic, but what made me forget about the rain (and pretty much everything else) was the maple cruller. The lightly fried, glazed outside cracks when you bite into it, and the dough inside is as airy as brioche. And yet, somehow, each bite tastes like butter cake infused with maple syrup. It was the best donut I’ve ever had.”

-Matt Tervooren, Staff Writer

Carlo Mantuano

Domodomo

$$$$
$$$$ 138 W. Houston St.

Sushi & Handroll Deluxe Set + Handroll Set

“This week I was planning a big night in filled with lots of sushi from Domodomo. Long story short, the driver of what will remain an unnamed delivery app never showed up at the restaurant to pick up my order. But my anniversary wasn’t ruined. The owner of Domodomo showed up in the rain and delivered it himself. It was at that moment that I officially decided this dude will be the best man at my wedding, and that was even before I dug into the excellent four-piece handroll set and 12-piece sushi and handroll combo. I got so much quality fish, like seared salmon, smokey eel, and tuna along with some delicious scallop and crab handrolls, that all held up really well in transit. Next time you’re thinking of getting sushi takeout, hit up Domodomo. I can’t, however, guarantee the owner will show up with your order.”

-Carlo Mantuano, Staff Editor

Adam Friedlander

El Riconcito

$$$$
$$$$ 408 E 10th Street

Chicken Pastelito

“When I ordered a chicken pastelito from El Riconcito on East 10th Street the other night, the person on the other side of the counter asked me how many I wanted. I could tell by the question that only ordering one of these fried, crimped pockets of pulled chicken would be a grave mistake. So I got two, and ate them on the way home wishing I had a third. They’re filled to the brim with piping hot chicken, like a blow-up mattress right after you inflate it.”

-Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Matt Tervooren

Thai Son

$$$$
$$$$ 89 Baxter St

Cha Gio

“I’m on the hunt for the best banh mi in NYC. Needless to say, I’ve been eating at a bunch of Vietnamese spots around the city. And while you’ll hear from me about sandwiches soon, one dish that needs an immediate shoutout is the cha gio at Thai Son in Chinatown. These Vietnamese spring rolls are filled with ground pork that’s somehow as rich and intense as pâté despite being wrapped in very thick and crunchy deep-fried rice paper. Dip them in the nuoc cham, and the sweet, tangy sauce fills up the shell’s little craters and valleys like a dam-break in a bad disaster movie. You’re going to want an order per person (along with a banh mi).”

-Matt Tervooren, Staff Writer

Molly Donnellon

Southside Coffee

$$$$ 652 6th Ave

New School Breakfast Sandwich

“I recently tried to order a tuna melt before noon at Southside Coffee in South Slope, but they were out of tuna. It was meant to be, because the New School undid the harm of many years of overcooked, luke-warm egg sandwiches. Whoever decided to put soft and buttery scrambled eggs, bacon, and Sriracha miso-tahini on this seeded hero understands me. Or maybe just that crunch, spice, greens, and a little creaminess don’t have to be reserved for lunch and dinner. The little counter-service spot has a handful of other breakfast and lunch sandwiches as well, but don’t leave without a house-baked cinnamon bun or slice of pie.”

-Arden Shore, Senior Editor

Nikko Duren

Thai Farm Kitchen

$$$$
$$$$ 416 Church Ave

Koay Teow Tom Yum (Tom Yum Noodle Soup)

“For some, fall means pumpkin patches, hot cocoa, and sweaters. But this year, I’m focusing my attention on noodle soups. That’s due in part to the fact that I’m writing an upcoming soup guide, but I also just like eating food out of bowls and getting the satisfaction of making noisy slurp sounds. My recent quest led me to Thai Farm Kitchen’s tom yum noodle soup - a spicy, sour sanctuary of ground pork, peanuts, and fish balls - and if I ever made a list of “fall favorites” this dish would likely be the only thing on it. The broth is creamy and smells like fishy galangal, which made it difficult for my cats to resist the leftovers.”

-Nikko Duren, Editorial Assistant

Matt Tervooren

Bricolage

$$$$
$$$$ 162 5th Ave.

Unshaking Beef Banh Mi

“I was in a bit of a pickle recently. On the one hand, I wanted to try Bricolage’s “unshaking beef,” a $36 slab of ribeye covered in lime-black pepper sauce that helped make their San Francisco restaurant, The Slanted Door, famous. On the other hand, it was 11am on a Sunday, the sun was reflecting off of the 5th Avenue asphalt in Park Slope, and a giant plate of meat wasn’t in the cards. Fortunately, they offer it in a banh mi version. I still got to try the juicy, rare, perfectly seared cut of steak, but in an 11am-appropriate portion. Along with delicious shallot aioli on even more delicious bread, the sandwich was packed with pickled vegetables, mint, cilantro, and jalapeño.”

-Matt Tervooren, Staff Writer

Nikko Duren

F.O.B.

$$$$
$$$$ 271 Smith St

Sisig

“I recently had dinner on the garden patio at this BYOB spot in Carroll Gardens while doing research for our upcoming sisig guide, and this pork dish was push-back-from-your-table-and-smirk-at-your-plate good. It’s topped with crunchy chicharron and has a bunch of finely chopped jalapeño that gives each bite of crispy meat a kick of spice. The highlight, though, is its sourness, which probably comes from the calamansi, but I’m not entirely sure. What I am sure about is that you need to add an egg to your order - it’s $1 extra but its influence cannot be understated.”

- Nikko Duren, Editorial Assistant

Nikko Duren

Blue Hill at Stone Barns

$$$$
$$$$ 630 Bedford Rd.

Heirloom Tomato

“Before 2:34pm on September 5th, I considered a tomato a tomato. But at this pivotal moment in my career as a produce consumer, my “third eye” was opened and I could taste the multi-hyphenate nature of a really good tomato. The heirloom tomato slice in question from Blue Hill at Stone Barns was about the size of two fists, and it came topped with chopped onions, pepper, and a little bit of salt. Its sweeter notes reminded me of my favorite childhood boardgame, Candyland, and its subtle sourness made me question whether this was even a fruit at all.”

-Nikko Duren, Editorial Assistant

Hannah Albertine

Hwa Yuan

$$$$
$$$$ 42 E Broadway

Mapo Tofu

“Hwa Yuan’s mapo tofu is one of my favorite versions I’ve had in NYC. They use enough ground pork so that every bite of soft tofu is accompanied by its own personal piggy chauffeur, and I would happily drizzle the thin, bright red Szechuan peppercorn oil on any other food. The next day, I stood in the glow of my fridge eating cold mapo tofu leftovers, realizing we need to create a guide to the best mapo tofu in the city. If you feel as strongly about this dish as I do, please send me your recommendations.”

-Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Insa

$$$$
KoreanBBQ  in  Gowanus
$$$$ 328 Douglass St

Fried Chicken

“Korean fried chicken is my favorite fried chicken, and I finally got around to trying Insa’s in Gowanus. As is typical, Insa uses a double-frying method, which keeps both the boneless and bone-in pieces astonishingly juicy. The crunchy exterior holds up against the sweet-spicy gochujang glaze, and I’ll just say that my dining partner and I wished we had opted for the whole bird rather than the half. If only two-step skincare routines had such effective results as the double-fry.”

-Arden Shore, Senior Editor

Farra

$$$$
Wine Bar  in  Tribeca
$$$$ 71 Worth St

Scallop Fried Rice

“Literally days before quarantine hit New York City, the Tribeca tasting menu Atera restaurant opened a wine bar next door, serving small plates. They’ve stuck it out through the pandemic (while Atera is closed), and have a great outdoor dining situation with tables scattered down Worth Street. The small plates are all pretty excellent, but the scallop rice with egg yolk and trout roe stood out as a highlight. From a service perspective, it’s not surprising that this place is connected to a fine dining establishment, so we’d recommend checking it out for a special night out, outdoors.”

-Hillary Reinsberg, Editor In Chief

Matt Tervooren

Cafe Rue Dix

$$$$ 1451 Bedford Ave

Gambas a la Plancha

“The grilled tiger shrimp at this French-Senegalese spot in Crown Heights look like delicious, albeit normal-sized shrimp, but each one makes you feel like you’re at the tail-end of a peel n’ eat free-for-all. They’re dense and tender, lightly charred and buttery, and somehow, they may not even be the most memorable part of the dish. Underneath them lies a soft pita that you only really notice after finishing half of the shrimp, by which time it’s sopping with lemon juice, spices, and a whole lot of butter sauce.”

-Matt Tervooren, Staff Writer

Hannah Albertine

Casa Enrique

$$$$
$$$$ 5-48 49th Ave.

Chile en Nogada

“Casa Enrique’s chile en nogada is as delicious as it is stunning. Their version is fruit heavy, and filled with enough pears, apples, peaches, apricots, and raisins to convince your stomach you drank a smoothie, and the handful of salty ground pork inside the poblano helps to subdue the overall sweetness. While this is technically a special, you’ll often see it on the menu. Keep an eye out for this pomegranate-studded, cream-covered pepper like you’re scanning a park for an isolated bench.”

-Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Hannah Albertine

Brooklyn Noosh

$$$$ 988 Atlantic Ave

Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Wings

“I ate these wings sitting next to a raging fire pit in the alley behind this new Bed-Stuy spot. Between the smoky campfire smell, the slow-burn heat of the wings, and the fact that my friend cried out after hot cheeto dust got in his eye, I briefly forgot I was still in 2020. What I’m saying is, these fried, cayenne-forward wings are a little bit ridiculous and a little bit painful, and they might be exactly what you need to feel better tonight.”

-Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Rahi

$$$$
$$$$ 60 Greenwich Ave

Methi Gosht

“I went to this West Village Indian spot while researching The Best Fried Chicken Sandwiches In NYC, and their garam masala-coated version certainly didn’t disappoint. But for how much I still think about that sandwich, I spend just as much time reminiscing about the bone-in goat curry. Cutting a hole in the puffed naan shell releases steam that makes it seem like the kitchen’s entire spice rack is being run through a still. The basmati rice acts like a sponge soaking up all of the flavor from the juices and minced goat, and yet the best bites are the pieces of gamey meat attached to the bones at the bottom of the pot.”

-Matt Tervooren, Staff Writer

Jalsa - Grill And Gravy

$$$$ 964 Coney Island Ave

Chicken Dum Biryani

“Biryani is my weighted blanket, my 15-minute yoga flow, and my chill music mix all in one. So when I got a craving for it last weekend, I figured I’d go out of my way to find the best biryani on the planet (read: within my delivery radius). Thankfully, the chicken dum biryani I ordered from Jalsa in Ditmas Park had exactly the kind of balanced-but-bold flavor I needed. It’s a big portion with a few whole chicken legs inside, and all of the meat falls right off the bone. The rice tasted like saffron which was extremely satisfying and also reminded me of an old roommate whose IG handle was ‘saffrongirl69.’ I hope she’s gotten better about doing the dishes.”

-Nikko Duren, Editorial Assistant

Hannah Albertine

Joe & Pat's

$$$$ 168 1st Ave

Clam Pizza

“My mother always taught me to think that molluscs and cheese don’t belong together. But the cracker-thin clam pie from Joe & Pat’s is proof that food rules are mostly stupid, because the cheese, garlic, parsley, and briny clams on this pizza should start an LLC together. Make this your next Friday night takeout so you can weigh in on my mom’s abrasive seafood-dairy policies.”

-Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Hannah Albertine

KM1

$$$$
$$$$ 58 E 1st St

Mofongo de Churrasco

“KM1 is a new Caribbean restaurant right across from those handball courts on Houston Street in the East Village. The menu has a bunch of Dominican dishes, including a plate of perfectly-seasoned strip steak with a crispy pile of plantains and a light tomato sauce. Between the tomato broth bath and the alternating bites of chewy steak and crunchy fried plantains, this mofongo was the highlight of my eating week.”

-Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Winner

Winner

$$$$
$$$$ 367 7th Ave

Rosemary and Grape Focaccia

“If your neighborhood bakery doesn’t serve grape and rosemary focaccia, that’s okay - mine doesn’t either. But recently I was biking around Park Slope, and decided to try a neighborhood bakery that does. At Winner, the aforementioned focaccia loaf was sweet, salty, crispy, and fluffy all at once. I’ll be pretending this spot is my neighborhood bakery from now on.”

-Nikko Duren, Editorial Assistant

Hannah Albertine

Lhasa Tibetan Restaurant

$$$$
$$$$ 177 1st Ave

Non-Veg Momo Combo

“One of Lhasa’s momos may have exploded beef juice all over my laptop, and that’s OK. It’s a good thing that they’re stuffed to the brim with meat, onions, ginger, and chives. This Jackson Heights Tibetan restaurant just opened a new location on 11th and 1st Avenue, and I plan on slowly but surely breaking the keyboard of my computer with their momo broth.”

- Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Black Crescent

$$$$ 76 Clinton St

Oysters

“Admittedly, oysters don’t have to try very hard to make me happy. But there was something special about these particular East Coast oysters from the recently-reopened Black Crescent. Maybe it was the fact that they were briny-tasting and smooth, or that they were the first oysters I’ve had all summer, or that I had already consumed a margarita in a plastic cup. Whatever it was, I was overjoyed.”

- Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

La Isla Cuchifritos

$$$$
Latin  in  BrooklynBushwick
$$$$ 1439 Myrtle Ave.

Alcapurria

“If I could have any superpower, my ninth or tenth pick would be to have an unlimited number of the dense, crispy alcapurrias from La Isla Cuchifritos in Bushwick. People would say things like, ‘That seems like a waste of a superpower,’ and I’d just be like, ‘Do want an alcapurria or not?’ And they’d probably say yes. I know this because I ate a few recently, and this is how any reasonable person should respond.”

- Bryan Kim, Senior Staff Writer

Matt Tervooren

Viking Fresh Off The Hook

$$$$ 1905 Bayview Ave

Fried Oysters & Raw Tuna

“I’d enjoy fried oysters anywhere. Most recently, I had a bucket of them next to the dock on Long Beach Island. Like lots of spots on LBI, Viking Fresh Off The Hook serves fantastic seafood, both fried and raw - like locally caught tuna, which I had in a poke bowl alongside the oysters.”

- Matt Tervooren, Staff Writer

Nikko Duren

Telly's Taverna

$$$$
Greek  in  AstoriaQueens
$$$$ 2813 23rd Ave

Spanakopita

“Rediscovering the NYC ferry has given my bike a chance to relax at home, while I visit parts of the city I haven’t seen in months. Most recently, the ferry brought me and this incredible spanakopita from Telly’s Taverna together, thus solving my commitment issues and inspiring me to go caroling four months early. It’s flakier than your favorite croissant and when you cut into it, you get that beautiful cracking sound that lets you know it just came out of the oven. This spanakopita should be on your NYC meals bucket list.”

- Nikko Duren, Editorial Assistant

Hannah Albertine

Ray's Candy Store

$$$$ 113 Avenue A

Swirl Soft Serve With Rainbow Sprinkles

“One of the only, true constants of my summer has been the vanilla-chocolate swirl soft serve from Ray’s Candy Store. I appreciate that it has pastel rainbow sprinkles and that unmistakable dairy flavor that leaves you as thirsty as a camel. Bring a bottle of water and a five-dollar bill, and order one for yourself.”

- Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Nikko Duren

A&A Bake and Doubles

$$$$ 481 Nostrand Ave

Doubles

“If you know me, you know that hyperbole isn’t really my thing. So when I say that I think about the doubles from A&A at least once a week, you should take me at my word. I finally made it back the other day (due to the fact that I fixed my bike), and the impeccably-spiced doubles were delicious as always. I also tried their dense, crispy saheena for the first time, although I let my coworker have most of it, as I’m an incredibly giving person.”

- Bryan Kim, Senior Staff Writer

Matt Tervooren

Miss Ada

$$$$ 184 Dekalb Ave

Chicken Shawarma With Hummus

“If I had to describe my brunch at Miss Ada with two words, I’d go with “disorienting” and “fantastic.” It was disorienting because it didn’t feel like brunch. The whipped ricotta was sweet enough to be served in a dessert shop, the hummus with shawarma had as many bright colors as the food scene in Hook, and the malawach was like a pancake that decided it was born to be more than just a pancake. As for the second descriptor, it all tasted fantastic.”

- Matt Tervooren, Staff Writer

Hannah Albertine

Titan Foods Inc.

$$$$
Greek  in  Astoria
$$$$ 25-56 31st St

Giant Beans In Tomato Sauce & Egg-Lemon Soup

“I went to this Greek grocery store in Astoria partly because my friend told me Danny Devito likes to shop there, and partly because I have a special place in my heart for imported canned goods. I left with incredible future lunch plans (a perfectly tart egg lemon soup, and a can of giant beans soaked in tomato sauce that didn’t require any additional seasoning) but, unfortunately, no Danny Devito sighting.”

- Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Hills Kitchen

$$$$
$$$$ 252 Knickerbocker Ave

Efo Soup

“I’ve been ordering a lot from Hills Kitchen, a West African restaurant in Bushwick, and it’s always hard for me to try something new there. You see, I really like their efo soup, which is incredibly rich and packed with more spinach than I typically consume in a month. Order it, get a sticky ball of eba on the side, and consume these things in unison.”

- Bryan Kim, Senior Staff Writer

Nikko Duren

Ricas Pupusas & Mas

$$$$
$$$$ 47-55 47th St

Pupusas

“I don’t eat enough pupusas. And since that’s one void in my life I can actively fill, I ordered two from Ricas Pupusas Y Mas. The masa is thick and sweet, yet humble enough to let the cheesy, meaty insides have some time in the spotlight. Based on this excellent meal (and humility lesson), I’ll be consuming more of these pupusas in the coming weeks.”

- Nikko Duren, Editorial Assistant

Noah Devereaux

Federoff’s

$$$$
$$$$ 178 N 10th St

Cheesesteak Sandwich

“A few days ago, I messaged some coworkers and told them that I was going to order a cheesesteak. They hadn’t asked about my dinner plans, but sometimes I like to be my own hype man. The cheesesteak was from Federoff’s in Williamsburg, it was an intensely salty mess of beef, cheese, and cheese-soaked bread, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.”

- Bryan Kim, Senior Staff Writer

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